- Associated Press - Monday, March 31, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The state has received fewer applications this year from those seeking to open new charter schools. But that’s partly due to more applicants trying their luck with local school boards, which historically have been hostile to charters.

A spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Education, Barry Landry, said the agency has worked hard to persuade charter management organizations to consider setting up schools outside of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, the areas most in demand until now, and to work with local school districts.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1gfWhmB ) the state released copies of the 22 applications submitted by the March 7 deadline.

The state released copies of the 22 applications submitted by the March 7 deadline.

Last year, 35 groups submitted applications to the state; 17 were approved.

This year’s crop includes eight who want to open schools in New Orleans and five who are looking to do business in Baton Rouge.

Most want to start operations in fall 2015, but a couple of groups plan to wait until later, in one case as late as 2019.

Several applicants also are interested in Monroe and Shreveport.

There are charter applicants interested in starting schools in St. Helena, St. James and Tangipahoa parishes.

Applicants range from first-timers to nonprofits connected to for-profit charter school organizations that run dozens of schools already. Sixteen of the 22 applicants are interested only in starting elementary schools, in most cases serving kindergarten to eighth grade.

Charter schools are public schools run privately via a contract, or charter.

Landry said the state does not keep track of local applications but is expecting that at least 22 more applications have been filed with local school districts, a shift from the past when more applications were submitted to the state.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com


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